This is a TNB Public Service Announcement. Avoid snake-infested houses.
We at TNB were not aware this message needed to be provided. We were wrong. While pest infestations are a standard risk of home purchasing, snakes aren’t commonly the pests in question.
There are exceptions, though.
For example, 675 W. North, Rexburg, Idaho, a place known locally as “the snake house” and featured on the television channel Animal Planet, has gone through multiple owners who were either not told of the degree of infestation or simply didn’t believe it. The house’s foundation sits upon a nesting location for garter snakes.
Fun trivia: garter snake secretions attract other garter snakes.
During the winter months, when the snakes are in hibernation, all seems normal. When the ground heats up, however…
The bank sent an inspector, who estimated in December there were about 400 to 500 snakes at the house. The latest assessment from the inspector is that there are multiple thousands of snakes.Rexburg Standard Journal
Garter snakes are small. Thousands of them, each capable of emitting a foul odor when startled, is enough to drive away most people wanting to live there.
A similar education on reptile hibernation was learned by the Brooks family near Annapolis, Marylang in 2015. Unreported by the real estate agent, black rat snakes had decided to winter in the walls, under the basement and even in the roof of their home. The family had no idea and was quite pleased by the price of their purchase.
Until the tiny snakes started being found. And the droppings. And the snakeskins.
Yes… snakeskins. Because, unlike garter snakes, black rat snakes can get quite large. The average length of an adult is four to six feet long. Not ideal for a family with a young son and an infant daughter.
Or, really, for anyone. The family filed a lawsuit against the realtor, but they were still forced to evacuate their dream home, leaving many of their belongings behind.
These are freak occurrences, nature finding new habitats in developed areas. But then there’s the occasional person who decides to try to help nature along.
Earlier this week, in San Antonio, police raided a man’s home. Rather than the usual types of raid… drugs, guns, gambling… this was animal control, seizing more than a hundred snakes, including two pythons of more than ten feet in length, from a single-story two bedroom, one bath home.
The owner is pending a court hearing to determine if he will face animal cruelty charges. According to the man, he was merely breeding the animals and was only working with nonvenomous, constricting snakes.
I’m sure that was a comfort to any visitors to the home.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite scary house story?